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Brgy. Ginebra's Joseph Yeo and Mark Caguioa. InterAksyon.com/Ver Marquez

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Kia Sorento look to build momentum from their opening day wins as the PBA Philippine Cup action shifts to Quezon Convention Center in Lucena, Quezon on Saturday for the league’s first provincial game of the young season.

The Gin Kings and the Sorento face off at 5 p.m. live on TV5.

Ginebra and Kia opened the new season with victories at the Philippine Arena last Sunday. The Gin Kings pummeled the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, 101-81, while player-coach Manny Pacquiao’s Sorento carved out an 80-66 triumph over fellow expansion squad Blackwater Elite.

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NBA

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City Thunder guard Anthony Morrow will miss the start of the regular season because of a left MCL sprain suffered at practice Thursday, the team announced.

Morrow is set to be evaluated in a week but the typical recovery time is four to six weeks, the Thunder said Friday.

The Thunder have been bit hard by the injury bug during training camp, losing both Kevin Durant and rookie forward Mitch McGary for at least the first month to foot injuries. The Thunder expect to have guard Reggie Jackson (wrist) and center Kendrick Perkins (quad strain) available for Wednesday's opener against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Rain or Shine Elasto Painters during a pregame huddle. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Rain or Shine suffered through a very tough shooting night on Friday against Blackwater and Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao said his team was “lucky” to come out of the game with a victory.

Guiao’s squad shot a horrendous 0-for-25 from beyond the arc and had to dig themselves out of a 15-point deficit before clinching the win over the expansion team.

“We have to give credit to their defense. At the same time, I don’t think we’re that bad a shooting team from the three-point area. We have nights like this. On bad nights like this, you just have to find ways to win,” the coach said in a postgame interview.

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Anderson Varejao will start at center for the Cavs to begin the season, beating out Tristan Thompson. Jason Miller/Getty Images

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The Cleveland Cavaliers have settled on the two players who will join their Big Three in the starting lineup when the regular season begins next week.

Cavs coach David Blatt said Friday that Anderson Varejao will start at center against the New York Knicks on Thursday, joining Dion Waiters at shooting guard and Cleveland's star-studded trio of small forward LeBron James, power forward Kevin Love and point guard Kyrie Irving.

Varejao, 32, beat out the 23-year-old Tristan Thompson for the starting nod on opening night.

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 Gabe Norwood soars for a dunk. KC Cruz

Gilas Pilipinas member Gabe Norwood missed the first game of the PBA season for Rain or Shine, but came back seemingly in good form against Blackwater Elite on Friday.

Norwood played 18 minutes for the Elasto Painters and scored seven points, including a runaway dunk that made the audience erupt in the second half.

"I felt pretty good, a little tired now. More tired than I usually am. Hopefully just continue to improve every game," Norwood said.

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With Steve Nash done for the season, Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin has a chance to play a larger role. Jeff Gross/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS -- Less than a day after Steve Nash was ruled out for the season with recurring back problems, Lakers coach Byron Scott said he did not address the injury with the team outside of naming Ronnie Price the starting point guard for Friday night's preseason game, and he said he has yet to talk to the two-time MVP.

"We didn't bring it up in practice, and we haven't talked about it at all," Scott said. "I think most of the guys who have been in the league for a while and are professionals know this is part of life in the NBA. You send out your well wishes and you move on. Obviously he'll be missed. Unfortunately for me, I didn't get a chance to coach him. He has always been one of my favorite people in the league because he's such a professional and such a gentleman. I'm going to miss out on that opportunity, but just like everyone else, I'm wishing him all the best."

The 40-year-old Nash played in only 15 games last season with nerve root irritation but hoped for a comeback season after several months of rehabilitation. Scott had penciled in Nash as the starting point guard this season, but Nash was only able to start and finish the first preseason game before experiencing back problems. He played in just three preseason games and strained his back while carrying travel bags several days ago.

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Paul Lee of Rain or Shine looks to go to the basket against the defense of San Miguel Beer's Solomon Mercado. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao said that star guard Paul Lee, who suffered an injury in their last outing, may be available to play for the Elasto Painters as soon as their next game.

“I think Paul can play in the next game,” Guiao told a group of sportswriters following his team’s victory over expansion team Blackwater on Friday.

Rain or Shine plays Kia next Wednesday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

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NBA

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- It is still a toss-up as to whether LeBron James will bring his pregame chalk toss ritual back in Cleveland this season.

"I may," James said Friday when asked if he has thought about resuming his patented powder poof. "I'm going to let the fans decide and see what they think. If they want me to, I will do it."

James said he will seek fan input on social media in order to make the call. Over the summer, James went a similar crowd-sourcing route to determine whether to wear his old No. 23 for the Cleveland Cavaliers or stick to No. 6, the number he wore while winning two championships with the Miami Heat and two Olympic gold medals with USA Basketball.

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Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine being guarded by Eddie Laure of Blackwater Elite. PBA/Nuki Sabio

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters escaped what was nearly a huge upset after falling behind by as much as 15 points before pulling through in the fourth quarter to defeat expansion club Blackwater, 82-75, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

With Rain or Shine’s outside shooting deserting them in this game, they trailed by double figures, 53-38, midway through the third quarter.

But the Elasto Painters picked things up in a dominant fourth quarter where they scored 31 points while giving up only 15 on the other end.

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Clippers eye fresh, winning chapter post-Sterling (October 25, 2014)
Mark Lamport-Stokes [ Source: Reuters ]

 Sep 29, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, forward Blake Griffin (32), guard Chris Paul (3), forward Matt Barnes (22), center DeAndre Jordan (6) and guard J.J. Redick (4) during media day at the training facility in Playa Vista. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Emotionally battered after a racism scandal that left their previous owner Donald Sterling with a life ban, the Los Angeles Clippers can now script a fresh chapter as they aim to enhance their championship credentials.

With former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer now in charge and shrewd head coach Doc Rivers back at the helm, the franchise will strive to go at least one better after being ousted in the second round of the playoffs last season.

The Clippers have never reached a conference final despite advancing to the postseason 10 times but, with All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin established as team leaders, they are now viewed by many as genuine contenders for the NBA championship.

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